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Tag Archives: Industrial Communications Equipment

Finding Safety Solutions that Work for the Midstream Industry

Total Safety provides a suite of safety services and equipment that can be mixed and matched to provide a customized solution for midstream projects that will improve worker safety, decrease project time and lower costs.With the growing energy demand, midstream infrastructure is under great pressure to be delivered on time and within budget. Such pressure allows for the temptation of shortcuts to be taken or inadequate processes to be implemented in order to meet that demand.

Having processes and controls in place specifically tailored for midstream operations, as opposed to relying on those used for upstream, will streamline projects and reduce costs overall.

Specialized Safety Personnel

Having a team of personnel experienced in midstream operations aids greatly in creating an environment of safety because the team is aware of what safety precautions should and need to be taken, and they will know how to respond in case of an injury or emergency.

Total Safety assigns safety consultants, field safety crews, medics and specialized safety staff to midstream projects, long- or short-term, with the goal of maintaining high standards of safety. With Total Safety’s Specialized Safety Personnel (SPP), the billing rates are more competitive than “craftsman” billing rates, and the number of multiple contractor employees is reduced by having a centralized pool of trained safety personnel that can be dispatched and assigned to all areas of the project, reducing the total man-hour costs of the project.

Fire Protection Engineering, Design and Installation

Fire monitoring and suppression systems are an integral part of any safety program, specifically in midstream operations, as the infrastructure is typically in a remote location, a good distance from any type of outside aide. Therefore, these systems are imperative to the safety of life, assets and the environment.

Total Safety specializes in fire protection services that include providing audits and design/engineering of water spray and foam systems, fire pumps, fire detection and alarm design packages for process units, and design and installation of fire protection systems, as well as the inspection testing and maintenance of those systems.

Industrial Hygiene

Potential occupational hazards may include exposures to acetone and alkylates, to benzene, butadiene, hydrogen sulfide and kerosene, depending on your operations. Exposures may be encountered during pipeline activities and by tanker, rail car, ship and barge operations.

A Work Place Exposure Assessment (WEA) is at the heart of any successful industrial hygiene program.  Total Safety’s comprehensive WEAs take a fresh look at tasks, materials, exposure potential and controls through a systematic approach and associated process. It results in a clearly prioritized list of actions that help ensure the well being of workers. Along with reducing incidents, benefits include reduced liability, increased productivity and safety awareness, and conformance with regulations and industry standards.

Communications

Pipeline operators constantly monitor pipelines for up-to-date measurements and leak detection and stay in touch with maintenance personnel spread over wide-areas. Operators monitoring storage tanks situated at the end of a pipeline, as well as in refineries and chemical plants, must be able to communicate around-the-clock with key personnel.

Total Safety’s communications solutions are designed to increase safety by providing immediate communication in emergency situations and maximizing productivity by allowing workers to communicate quickly.

Our top-of-the-line communications equipment, available for rent or purchase, is ideal for remote locations. Our fleet includes everything from two-way radios to mobile Internet hotspots and is backed by in-house certified technicians who maintain and upgrade the equipment.

Safety Equipment, For Rent or Purchase

Essential to any industrial operation, safety equipment is designed to protect workers and the environment; however, from personal protective equipment (PPE) to high-tech gas monitors, safety equipment only works when it is being used properly, in compliance with the manufacturer and other regulating bodies’ guidelines.

Total Safety offers a complete line of industrial safety equipment for rent or purchase. In fact, they house the world’s largest rental fleet of equipment manufactured by leaders in the industry. In addition, Total Safety employs in-house certified technicians to repair and maintain Total Safety or customer-owned equipment.

Emergency Response

What if the unthinkable were to happen, and a leak were to occur in the pipeline? A proactive plan should be in place that addresses the necessary steps and procurement channels that should be in place to streamline recovery and get the systems back online.

With quick response time, seasoned personnel and an integrated menu of support services, Total Safety aids companies when disaster strikes. Their start-to-finish solutions are designed to deliver on the high number of customer requests and respond to the customer’s needs by providing two-way radios, fall protection, fire extinguishers, gas detection instruments, as well as the calibration and bump testing of the monitors, respiratory equipment, fit-testing, PPE resale and management, and, most importantly, safety training.

There are many aspects of a midstream project that need to work together to make the project not only successful, but safe. To overcome undesirable project outcomes, ensure that key materials, labor and contractor capabilities are planned for and that the right processes and internal control support are delivered.

The FCC Narrowbanding Mandate

January 2, 2013, the FCC will require that all existing licenses in the Land Mobile Radio and UHF spectrum band use the 12.5 kHz or less.
Frequency Wave

There is a critically important Federal Communications Commission (FCC) mandate phasing in soon that can greatly affect your organization’s overall radio communications. The mandate is designed to benefit radio users in the VHF and UHF frequency bands. If your organization currently uses two-way radio communications, you must pay particular attention to narrowbanding. Failure to comply with the FCC’s Narrowbanding Mandate may result in loss of FCC license, or large fines.

The Narrowbanding Mandate refers to the requirement by the FCC that all existing licensees in the Land Mobile Radio (LMR) Part 90 VHF 150-170 Megahertz (MHz) and UHF 421-512 MHz spectrum band use equipment designed to operate on channel bandwidths of 12.5 kilohertz (kHz) or less or which meets a specific efficiency standard. 800 MHz and 900 MHz bands are not affected by this mandate. Licensees must convert their existing wideband (25 kHz) systems to narrowband (12.5 kHz) operation, and operate in a 12.5 KHz efficiency standard. Any equipment not capable of operating on channels of 12.5 kHz or less must be replaced. If FCC licenses are not modified for narrowband operation by the end of 2012, the license will expire.

Below are some myths and FAQs:

  • Does narrowbanding require me to implement digital equipment? No. Licensees can operate in either analog or digital formats as long as you operate at 12.5 kHz efficiency.
  • How do I upgrade my existing 12.5 kHz capable equipment? In most cases, radio programming software can be used to reprogram the subscriber and base station radios to operate at 12.5 kHz. Typically, infrastructure site equipment does not require any changes.
  • Will migration to 12.5 kHz change my system coverage area? Possibly — conduct tests during conversion to ensure your system continues to provide similar coverage.
  • Does narrowbanding require me to change frequencies or obtain new channels? No. Licensees migrating from 25 kHz channels to 12.5 kHz channels stay on the same channel centers. You only reduce the bandwidth of your current channel and change the emission designator on your license.
  • Will I receive two 12.5 kHz channels when I change from my currently licensed 25 kHz channel? No. As noted above, you remain on the same 25 kHz channel center, not splitting the channel into two 12.5 kHz channels. If you need additional capacity, you will need to apply for additional 12.5 kHz channels to the FCC through your frequency coordinator.
  • Has the FCC established a schedule for mandatory migration to 6.25 kHz efficiency? No. The FCC has not set any date by which licensees must operate in 6.25 kHz efficiency. The current mandate only requires users to migrate to 12.5 kHz efficiency by Jan. 1, 2013.

Now is the time to prepare to meet mandate

The deadline is approaching quickly — the mandate will be in effect at the end of next year. Your license must be modified for narrowband, and your equipment must meet the 12.5 KHz efficiency standard.

Please take these steps:

  • Complete an inventory of your radios to assess what equipment is capable of operating in 12.5 kHz and what equipment will need to be replaced. The FCC required all radios certified since 1997 to include a 12.5 kHz efficiency mode, so most new equipment likely is dual mode 25/12.5 kHz that can be converted via software. Radios may need to be reprogrammed. Others may need to be replaced.
  • Consider that operational coverage may diminish after analog narrowbanding. Conduct tests during conversion to ensure your system continues to provide similar coverage.
  • Establish a funding plan, as well as a conversion and implementation schedule.
  • Coordinate your conversion with neighboring agencies or facilities to facilitate continued interoperability if needed.

If you are unsure that your communications equipment will be compliant, contact us today at 888.44.TOTAL and schedule an assessment with our experts.

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